Every year, the Catalyst programme awards £100,000 of funding to Fellows in the form of:
£2,000 Seed Grants, for enabling Fellows to test a seed of an idea,
- £10,000 Scaling Grants, for proven concepts that are ready to grow.
Reviewed by a shortlisting panel of RSA staff and then a decisions panel of Fellowship Councillors and RSA community members, the projects that are funded align with and make a contribution towards the visions of the RSA Impact Programmes and projects.
It was an extremely competitive round, and we received the highest number of applications for a round at 196 in total. The 10 awarded projects this round represents only a small fraction of the incredible work undertaken in our wider Fellowship of 30,000 Fellows. We were moved and inspired by all of the positive actions Fellows across the globe are taking to make our world better.
We are delighted to announce the projects awarded Catalyst funding for Round 3 of 2020-21. Congratulations to the exceptional projects listed below.
Scaling Grants (£10,000)
Preventing Food Waste at Scale Through Upcycled Products (USA) - Upcycled Food Association (UFA) is growing the upcycled product economy through a membership and certification program which will raise awareness around the massive global food waste problem and empower millions of people to join the fight against food waste and climate change just by buying upcycled products.
(Project Leads: Gage Mitchell FRSA & Turner Wyatt)
Omnifolio (UK, London) uses in-depth profiling and job-matching to help people change careers more easily, vital given the occupational displacement being caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are currently scaling usage to gather enough data to validate their psychometrics, algorithms and jobs library as well as develop and support a community of practice.
(Project Lead: Neil Bachelor FRSA)
Climate Change, All Change (UK, London) is a primary school programme that blends climate literacy and creative design solutions to the climate crisis. In partnership with top designers, children create buildings, transportation, clothing and products for a climate-changed future. Their concepts are elaborated in the design studio and given a national stage preceding an international rollout.
(Project Leads: David Lloyd Jones FRSA, DaeWha Kang FRSA, Kimberly Safford)
Seed Grants (£2,000)
Sara Grady (UK & USA) is creating a new supply of traceable leather made from hides of pastured animals. By connecting leather production with humane and ecological farming, this initiative will supply the design community with ethical and sustainable material, while conveying the benefits of regenerative practices that improve the welfare of animals, ecosystems, and communities. In the UK, she is working as half of the duo Grady + Robinson, and in the US, she is leading an independent initiative based in the Hudson Valley of New York.
(UK Project leads: Sara Grady FRSA & Alice V Robinson)
Eco Medics (UK, London) was founded to tackle sustainability within the healthcare industry. By engaging, educating and inspiring healthcare professionals, Eco Medics is building a network of individuals who can implement tried-and-tested projects in their local departments, which will in turn drive institutional changes that place the health of our planet alongside the health of its patients.
(Project leads: Dr Nathan Hudson-Peacock FRSA, Dr Grace Hatton FRSA)
The Disability Inclusion Evaluation Toolkit (China, Hainan) plans to design a toolkit that can quantitatively asses the operating conditions of barrier-free facilities in a specific area to detect problems in the design and maintenance in accordance with Chinese laws and signed international conventions, and to help relevant departments find directions for improvement.
(Project Lead: Fei Qi FRSA)
Square Hole (UK, London) is a four-episode podcast looking at neurodiversity in the creative industry. The podcast is a journey through the stages of understanding from diagnosis to development, education, career and working environments through to audience experience. In addition to the traditional podcast, we seek to offer alternative methods of engagement, including visual transcription, tactile instructions (follow along), imagery, and sound pieces.
(Project leads: Lorna Allan FRSA & Jhinuk Sarkar)
'Nurturing Hope'- Experiencing the Intimacy of Honest Differences (UK, Northern Ireland) - Change in the quality of our relationships is the basis for sustainable change. Society as a whole grows from people modelling openness and trust; our lives diminish when dominated by rivalry and exclusion. Rooted in Northern Irish experience, 'Nurturing Hope' is designed to support people share honest differences, allowing trust to grow and lives to flourish.
(Project Leads: Derick Wilson FRSA, Duncan Morrow, Jean Horstman & Dong Jin Kim)
SAFARI (UK, Scotland) use creative activities such as storytelling, theatre arts and film making to enable participants, including adults with a learning disability and autism to embrace positive identities as artists, actors and storytellers within their local communities. Funding will support the development of our online digital storytelling activities.
(Project Lead: Jason Lyons FRSA)
The ‘Listen in at Roche Court’ Podcast Series (UK, South West England) will showcase projects at Roche Court Educational Trust, linked to specific works of art and the artists who made them. In order to address the gap in access to world-class art, the podcasts will be created with and accessed by a multigenerational audience, including secondary school pupils, students, teachers and lifelong learners.
(Project Lead: Laura Joy FRSA)
The Covid-19 Catalyst Award aims to both enable much-needed action on the ground now, and to open doors to Fellows’ ideas